Saturday morning we called my grandparent using Skype on my iPod…just figured that one out…and it’s so cool! It costs about 40 cents/15 minutes which is way better than what I paid using our landline when I first came to China. That was about $30 for half an hour!
After getting dressed we headed down the street to get on the subway and begin our hour long journey over to The Place in the Chao Yang district. We got off at Silk Street and then walked the remaining 15 minutes to get to the ritzy shopping center which has some play areas on the fouth floor. However, we first did some shopping at Silk Street because I realized that his waterbottle was gone so bargained to get a new one…started at 90 yuan and paid 50. Then bought two bags to help bring our stuff home in and because I do need a new bag. Ate another turkey sub at Subway; so yummy!
Nathaniel spent 2 hours playing in a ball pit and jumping thing and building blocks and about ten other things. We first went there at Easter as it was rainy and my friend’s home is not the best place for an active toddler. I bought a card for five visits, thus getting a bit of a discount per visit and this was our third visit. He hated the ball pit the first time. Cried when I put him in. Now he loves it. He was also able to play on most of the toys all by himself and was happy to wander off by himself. A little too happy to do it as I was constantly “loosing” him even though I was trying to pay attention while knitting.
It is an enclosed place but I’m sure kids can easily slip out since there aren’t all that many staff watching them. One parent is allowed in during “holidays” and two can go in during “non-holidays.” It was pretty full of people, but I always found a place to sit while he played.
After two hours at The Place we headed back to the subway and after an hour long ride, standing since men don’t seem to care about the announcements to let women and children have seats, we did grocery shopping for our Thanksgiving dinner. He became very fussy and while I was looking around for vodka, to make vanilla, he fell asleep.
Once done, we headed out of the huge, part underground complex and I had some ice cream from Dairy Queen while he slept and I contemplated how I would manage to walk three blocks back to the subway and get through security while carrying a sleeping three year old who seems to gain weight by the day. Outside, his shoe fell off and I was scolded by an elderly woman for letting his ankle be exposed to the cold. Sometime after getting on the subway he woke up and we got off and walked home without much trouble. I rarely bother with keeping up my usual exercise routine in Beijing since taking the subway gets me plenty of exercise, especially when you half to transfer lines and walk about half a mile. I’ve never measured it, but honestly think that’s a good estimate of the distance.